Freezing Cooked Food For Future Meals – Tips and Tricks

Many people want to steer clear of throwing away food. Most people don’t wish to do so but don’t know how to properly store food. For these reasons, we have prepared some easy solutions and suggestions.

divider

Home-cooked Food

Everybody has had many situations where a bunch of leftovers is just sitting in the kitchen waiting to be thrown out. Whether there’s been a party, a gathering, or just a regular dinner the remaining food is an inevitable problem. Because of this consider resorting to freezing your food and leaving it for some other time. Often enough people wonder how to freeze cooked food and what’s the best way to go about it.

Cooking with Meal Delivery

The same goes for meal delivery service. You order a meal or a couple not knowing what the portion sizes are. You are stuck with a lot of leftovers and you don’t know what to do with them. Our suggestion is to pick meals which do not have to be sizzling hot in order to be tasty and freeze whatever is left of the meal.

Veestro is meal delivery service which makes some kickass Soba noodles with peanut sauce. The meal doesn’t require heating and if you’ve eaten enough don’t throw away the leftovers. Put them in the freezer for later. These noodles have enough flavor and body that you will forget that they are entirely meat-free. And another great thing about their meal plans is that it will help you to improve your health and just lose some weight. This company is offering many more dishes that will suit your needs, and you can read more about them in this veestro review.

Freshly is another company which offers some delicious Cod cakes with spicy chipotle and succotash. This meal can be frozen and saved for another time if you cannot finish it. It will preserve the delicious taste and will make your day once again. Take a look at more of their incredible delicious meal in this review of freshly.

Tips and Tricks

Do not include everything in your newly obtained freezing ritual. Not all foods will be a good choice for the freezing and defrosting process.

Freshness

First of all, the food you decide to freeze needs to be fresh when you decide to put it in the freezer. It is preferable that the food is at their best because they will taste better once defrosted. You, therefore, need to choose foods which are at their best and which you will not be using soon.

Some of the foods which are better when you have frozen and reheated them are any sorts of soups and stews, chili, even casseroles, and meatloaves.

Almost all vegetables can be frozen, as well as, fruit. The only fruits and vegetables which cannot be frozen properly are the ones which contain a high level of water. Items like watermelon, cucumber, and lettuce are no good.

frozen food in freezer

Temperature

All of the food needs to be stored at no more than 0 degrees. In some cases, it is better that the temperature is even lower. The low temperature will preserve the vitamins, colors, flavors, and texture of the food.

Let It Cool Down

Food cannot simply be thrown into the freezer at any time. It is of crucial importance that your meals cool down before you put them in the freezer. Warm food can damage your freezer, affect other food surrounding it, and use up more electricity than needed. Not to mention it won’t taste the same once it is defrosted. It will go through an unfavorable process and lose its freshness on the way.

​Dishes, Containers, and Zip-lock Bags

Your food needs to be placed in specific dishes in order to retain its quality. You can be sure that it is not the same if the food is put in a plastic cup or a metal container.

Refrigeration

The best way to go about it is to put the meals in shallow and wide dishes while they cool. At first, you can leave them to reach room temperature and then put everything in the refrigerator. Don’t forget to put a lid on it. Keep in mind that it is best to have containers with matching lids for the process because it will keep the food intact and safe.

food storage containers

Metal

In some cases, you can even forcefully cool down what you eat. You can place it in metal containers and immerse it in cold water or even ice. That won’t affect the food but will help you get the job done faster. Remember that you need to stir it up from time to time in order to keep everything at the same temperature.

​Bags

Zip-lock bags are very easy and efficient solutions to storing frozen food. The only thing you need to remember is to get all of the air out of the bag before storing it in the freezer.

Another tip: If you wish to store liquid food in sealed bags make sure you lay them horizontally as they will freeze faster and more evenly.

Portions

Food needs to be portioned in order to be stored. You cannot just throw in an entire dinner in the freezer and hope for the best. The food will spoil each other’s taste and smell. Besides, not all food can be stored in the same manner.

Our suggestion is to store food in smaller portions. This will keep everything from spoiling and it will make it freeze quicker. Another upside is that defrosting smaller portions will also be more time-efficient. Portioning food helps you be practical because sometimes you will only need a fraction of the meal you’ve frozen. For example, you only need a handful of cherries for your dessert. There is no need to defrost an entire pound of cherries and risk them getting spoiled over just one handful.

cutting food waste

Labeling

This is not important for the safety and storing of the food but will make your life much easier. By labeling all the food you are helping yourself in the long run. You won’t need to spend half an hour with your head in the freezer trying to discern whether you are looking at carrots or pumpkin.

Another tip: A little organization can go a long way. Try measuring the portions and labeling them accordingly. Remember to put the date on so you don’t need to think twice about it.

Storage

Do not crowd our freezer with unnecessary food. Make sure you organize your containers and bags so that they are not jamming and squashing each other. If it is possible, you should arrange your freezer so it has a single layer of containers. This will allow the food to have equal temperature and not affect each other.

Most dishes will be ok in the freezer for a couple of months (2-3 months) if they are kept at 0 degrees or lower.

Fat

Some dishes will contain fat, grease, and oil which will show up as a top layer of the food. This will most likely happen when the food has been refrigerated. Before putting it in the freezer make sure you scrape off the fat residue and then freeze the food. This is important because the fat can easily spoil over time and waste the entire meal.

Don’t Hesitate

Be quick to freeze your food. Don’t leave it in the fridge for days without end before you actually remember to put it in the freezer. They will retain more of their quality if frozen in a timely manner.

Defrosting

This is also an important part of the process. Defrosting can be done in two ways. One is to place the container in the refrigerator and let it slowly thaw. The other way is to microwave the food.

The best way to do it is to use both methods. Plan ahead and take the time to defrost the food first in the fridge and then in the microwave.

Another tip: Never defrost the food using room temperature since you can risk spoiling the food.

meat defrosting

Foods to Avoid

Some foods simply cannot be frozen well and will end up going bad. Never freeze dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or sour cream.  Don’t try to freeze gravy or any sauces which contain cornstarch because they don’t freeze well.